Skip to comments.Shovel This: Your Government Spent $205,000 to Move a $16 Shrub
Posted on 04/13/2012 3:56:03 PM PDT by smoothsailing
April 13, 2012
They thought it was extinct. Other than probably millions of the same shrub living in yards all over the place, they were right.
In October 2009, an ecologist identified a plant growing in a concrete-bound median strip along Doyle Drive in the Presidio as Arctostaphylos franciscana, the U.S. Department of Interior reported in the Aug. 10, 2010 edition of the Federal Register. The plants location was directly in the footprint of a roadway improvement project designed to upgrade the seismic and structural integrity of the south access to the Golden Gate Bridge.
The translocation of the Arctostaphylos franciscana plant to an active native plant management area of the Presidio was accomplished, apparently successfully and according to plan, on January 23, 2010, the Interior Department reported.
The busha Franciscan manzanitawas a specimen of a commercially cultivated species of shrub that can be purchased from nurseries for as little as $15.98 per plant. The particular plant in question, however, was discovered in the midst of the City of San Francisco, in the median strip of a highway, and was deemed to be the last example of the species in the wild.
Prior to the discovery of this wild Franciscan manzanita, the plant had been considered extinct for as long as 62 years–extinct, that is, outside of peoples yards and botanical gardens.
So they dug it up, and they moved it to an undisclosed location, and put a fence around it, and are paying labs to create offspring that will undoubtedly show up in the hedges of government offices from one coast to the other.
This is a waste! I prefer not to pay for bush out of my pocket..
In my hometown, our local cop would have just blackmailed a few of us local delinquent teens into doing the work for free.
Money laundering. When is this going to stop?
Idiots that do these things with taxpayers’ money should be in jail...after beating them with branches from the shrub.
Tony Rezko’s Yard?
They had no choice. Some hippies threatened to sit in the bush to keep the roadway project from happening.
They had no choice. Some hippies threatened to sit in the bush to keep the roadway project from happening.
Both are expendable.
I would have done it for 100k.
They should have just asked Roger, he would have told them how common said shrub was.
BTW, Welcome to Free Republic!
This fiasco reflects the mindset of the Bay Area leftists perfectly though many of them don’t care for bushes.
Ne ! Ne !
for inquiring minds....
From THE BAY LEAF... January 2010
Here’s the original story -
link and copy.
the saN FRANCISCO MAnZANITA IS BACK!
The San Francisco manzanita (Arctostaphylos franciscana)
was driven extinct in the 1940s, as the 1849er cemeteries of
San Francisco were developed for houses, shops, and tennis
courts. The species was part of the diverse and miraculous
Franciscan floristic region, the smallest region in California
and one largely replaced by its namesake cityfortunately,
portions are preserved in the Marin headlands, Mount San
Bruno, and key natural areas in San Francisco.
Sixty years ago, it was not certain that Franciscan communities
would be lost. Very well developed communities remained;
many associated with the 49er cemeteries on Lone Mountain
and Laurel Hill. As the forces of progress began developing
San Franciscos remaining wild places, the legendary botanists
of yesteryear fought to preserve some remnants. In 1906,
Alice Eastwood rescued the type specimens of Arctostaphylos
franciscana by throwing them out the windows of the burning
California Academy of Sciences; decades later Alice begged
San Francisco to save part of the old Laurel Hill Cemetery for
a city botanical reserve. Before he was diverted into the war
effort, James Roof salvaged Arctostaphylos franciscana plants
from bulldozers, along with other plants which were moved
to the Regional Parks Botanic Garden in Tilden. For the rest
of his life he grieved at not rescuing more of the Franciscan
region before it was ultimately lost. By the end of the 1940s,
the old 49er bones had been moved to Colma and the San
Francisco manzanita was extinct in the wild.
Until last month. Driving home from representing Audubon
Canyon Ranch at the Sonoma Climate Change conference,
scanning the roadside for red alert invasive plants to report
to BAEDN (http://BAEDN.org), I noticed a beautiful manzanita
flowing over a sharp green serpentinite rock outcrop
just south of the Golden Gate Bridge. The manzanita looked
suspiciously wild, and so the next time I drove by I tried to
get a better look. I returned a third time, took a photo; thinking
the plant might be a Ravens manzanita (Arctostaphylos
hookeri subsp. ravenii) I called Lew Stringer, a biologist with
the Presidio Trust.
The message I left on Lews answering machine was garbled
with excitement, and was cut off before I completed the story.
No matter. When I called Lew again 15 minutes later he had
already recruited his co-worker Mark Frey for a trip to the
site. Lew and Mark didnt ignore the report. They didnt add
it to their list of things to do if they ever have extra time. They
went directly to the site, drove past again, and then sprinted
across lanes of traffic to identify an extinct plant. Lew and
Mark are conservation heroes. Without their quick response
the plant would have been lost once again. Forever.
We know the plant would have been lost because it is growing
on a small outcropping of serpentine rock adjacent to the
highway and in the middle of planned highway construction
for the Doyle Drive project. Fortunately, we have discovered it,
identified it, and now an expert team of biologists is working
to ensure its protection. Mike Vasey and Tom Parker, manzanita
experts from San Francisco State University, are analyzing
DNA from the plant to further confirm its identity. Cuttings
of the plant have been collected so that it can be propagated
at conservation nurseries under the care of experts including
Betty Young and Holly Forbes. Representatives from Cal-
Trans, Presidio Trust, the Golden Gate National Recreation
Area, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are developing a
conservation plan that will likely involve moving the plant
and replanting it in a protected location within the Presidio.
In another stroke of luck, we already have the elements of a
plan for saving this species: National Park Service biologist
Michael Chasse had already started work on his masters
thesis project, a plan for reintroduction and restoration of the
San Francisco manzanita.
So far this is really a story about how the system worked. I
discovered this subtly beautiful plant, reported it to colleagues
at the Presidio Trust, who mobilized instantly to protect this
tenacious survivor of another era. Presidio biologists brought
in the manzanita experts to confirm the identification, and
then Caltrans and other agency staff began working on saving
it. Now Caltrans gets to save an extinct species!
THE BAY LEAF January 2010 3
restoration team at Point isabel
But there is a lot of work ahead of us, and we need to make
some decisions. We drove this species extinct once before,
digging up the last couple of survivors and then exiling them
to foreign soil in the East Bay hills. Now we have a second
chance. To save it? To remove it again? It seems likely that we
will have to dig up the last wild plant, once again, but if we
simply dig and replant then it shows that little has changed
since the 1940s. We must do something more, something that
demonstrates our improved understanding of and commitment
to biodiversity conservation.
If we have to move the San Francisco manzanita, then we
have an obligation to move it to a new home. We have to
find an appropriate nearby site, do significant site preparation
and restoration. Then we must bring the other San
Franciscan manzanitas back from the diaspora, plant them
alongside their natural neighboring species, and give them
a new home where they can flower, bear seed, and produce
baby manzanita plants to continue the lineage. That will cost
some money, but ultimately will be something of which we
can all be proud.
If you save someones life you are responsible for them. I
feel that responsibility for the San Francisco manzanita. Ive
learned a lot about this plant in recent weeks, and the more I
learn about this plant and its history the more I feel a responsibility
to make sure we do right. The special thing about this
plant is that it is a natural plant, born of a seed that fell on
the ground and germinated and has grown ever since. Our
measure of success for this opportunity isnt saving this individual
plant, but saving that phenomenon. We have to make a
place where San Francisco manzanita plants exchange pollen,
their seeds fall to the ground, germinate, and grow long after
humans have moved on to something else. If we dont do that
then we have blown this rare chance for a do-over.
At this point, Caltrans and other agencies are really trying to
do the right thing. Im going to stay involved to make sure
that this will continue to be a real success story, with Caltrans
leading a solution that reclaims a home for the shrub named
after my city. I hope you will join me in thanking Caltrans and
the Presidio Trust for going the extra stepnot just rescuing
this single individual, but providing leadership to restore a
site and rescue the species.
Dr. Gluesenkamp is Director of Habitat Protection and Restoration
for Audubon Canyon Ranchs 30 Marin and Sonoma
It, It, It!
You are going to need a permit for that. Not for the beating, but to use the branches from the shrub. An ESA evaluation, with approvals from local, state, and federal officials is likely a must. You will need to show such beatings will not harm the plant and if there are any negative or positive impacts on the shrub. You will also need to complete a non-beating alternative.
Once you get those approvals, the agencies that approved your use of the branches will likely be sued at all (local, state, and federal) levels. One or more of those will issue an injunction against proceeding until more detailed analyses of the use of the branches can be completed and refute the evidence that use of such branches will not endanger the species as a whole, even though commonly found in yards and plant nursery's, but will need to refine your analysis to experts on such shrubs that grow unexpetedly in road medians.
Your opposition will have such experts.
If, you still have the energy to use such branches after that, you will likely be sued since you didn't consider the social justice impats of using a part of the shrub found in the median. You will need to evaluate what if any other uses by disadvantaged populations could have or might in the future occur both with and without your use of parts of the shrub.
Once you get through that, you will definately need to identify shrub part recycling plans and mitigate the CO2 emissions from the action of using the branches plus all of the extra CO2 emission you made that caused 40,000 pages of legal motions, miles driven, paper used, etc., that you caused to happen by wanting to use a part of the shrub in the first place.
The second “shovel ready job” that O Bammie provided.
You know the first.
This is perfectly logical to those on the left I bet. Think of all the jobs it created moving the bush.
Jobs? One job for one day for a good gardener, perhaps. That’s it, to move a bush. .... Oh yes, all the construction jobs building the yacht for the crooked political hack that stole these 205,000 dineros of our tax money. I guess we have to count those jobs, eh?
I bet it does count as a “job” to the administration
LOL! That's hilarious.
Tiger found out just how hazardous bushes and golf clubs can be.
Talk about obsession, man, that clown is eaten up.
LOL That rocks!
And then have to go through the hassle and expense of of an audit?
You first. ;>)
San Francisco? They’ll have smoked it before they can study it.
“It’s great stuff, man.....I saw myself giving birth, man.”
“Larry was looking in the mirror when he was on the toilet again.”
I’ve lived in Cali for over 30 yrs. The closest I’ve been to San Fran is Santa Cruz but if I could find out where this bush is I’d drive over just to set in on fire.
Yeah, Caltrans. 1 person working, 20 supervising.
Shovel This: Your Government Spent $205,000 to Move a $16 Shrub
Ahhhh, just like the good old days. Reminds me of when I was kid growing up in Chicago and watching a Crew of Six City Workers ('Dept of Streets & San.') patching a 12" Pothole.
Some things never change.
But $205,000? That's insane.
What possible reason could there be for not having state employees in the plant management and highway departments do the labor, perhaps under the supervision of some experts in the species to make sure something didn't go wrong? I can see special procedures to make sure the sole remaining known specimen of a near-extinct wild version of a now-domesticated plant doesn't get killed in the transplantation process, but that would be in the category of maybe a few thousand dollars of staff time, not $205,000.
Somebody needs to give answers.
I don’t know this firsthand, but I heard that GSA is tearing out perfectly good (and relatively new) heating and air systems in government buildings back east to put in geothermal heat/air units. There is no way that is cost effective!
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